In this brilliant tale of violent sexuality, set forth in stark, hypnotic prose, Denis Belloc presents a straightforward narrative of the homosexual underworld in 1960s Paris. As a young child, Denis (autobiographical parallels are intentional) witnesses his father’s death in a sideshow boxing match and is left with nothing but faded photographs. Numbed by his mother’s neglect and her new husband’s abusive treatment, he turns to Paris’s teeming street life and to the sordid corners of the city’s “tearooms” (public restrooms). He is absorbed quickly into a world of physical and emotional prostitution, and finds temporary stability only with a few lovers and friends. Belloc’s detached style is devoid of self-pity, and creates a savage, involving tension. Blasphemous, unrelenting, uninhibited, this novel will leave no one indifferent.
Praise for Neons
There’s much brilliance in Neons. Belloc’s story of homosexual underlife in Paris may be ages old, but he has sculpted it into a sequence of amazing musical fragments whose cacophonous honesty is perfectly matched to a prose both offhanded and capable of unnerving emotional feats.
This explosive and magnificent book speaks the truth, always.